Archives for September 2010

When you arise in the morning, think of…….

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

Do you get out of the bed each morning excited at the possibilities that await you, or have you got yourself in a place where each day seems to be a carbon copy of the last and there’s little if anything to get excited about?

You only have to look at the alternative to realise how blessed we are to wake up each morning; to have the opportunity to shape our own destinies and the fact that every day we can do something to make a positive impact towards achieving our dreams.

If you’ve got yourself in a mental rut, it’s time to re-focus and remind ourselves just how privileged we are to be alive at this moment in time when wherever we’re coming from, we can achieve almost anything we dare to dream, believe and take action on.

Ask yourself today, ‘How might my entire day be transformed for the better simply by spending the first few minutes when I wake each morning immersing myself in a feeling of gratitude for being alive and for the opportunities that I have that so many of our forefathers never did?’

Have an Outstanding Day!
Reprinted with permission of Alex Prez & Motivation in your Mailbox E-ZINE, for more information, visit www.motivationinyourmailbox.com

Darlene
http://www.watkinsonline.com/ddemell

Featured Grandmother & Interview- Cassie Armstrong

We have Cassie Armstrong as our new “Featured Grandmother.”

I love her writing style and I appreciate all of her contribtutions. Cassie works from home as a proofreader.

Below is the interview from Cassie

Tammy: How many children and grandchildren do you have?

Cassie: I have one grandson.

Tammy: How did you get your start as a freelance proofreader?

Cassie: I called a publisher in Colorado Springs and asked if they needed a freelance proofreader. Then I went down to their publishing house and talked to them about the job. That was four years ago. I now freelance for publishers and other clients all over the US and Canada. As a proofreader, I am not mentioned in the books that I proof. That’s okay. I keep a list. One publisher also sends me a copy of every book that I work on for them.

Tammy: Since you like to proofread, I’m assuming you like writing as well?

Cassie: I love writing. Working with words in any form is my passion. I love talking to people and listening to their stories. I was a writer for a business journal and my favorite part of the job was talking to people, asking questions, and getting the story down. I have the original copy of my master’s thesis and a file folder that contains copies of the stories that I wrote while working as a staff reporter for a business newspaper.

I have to admit that sometimes I don’t think what I have to say interests people. I get over that by writing about being a grandma. This gives me an outlet. Writing about my grandson and what he sees is a lot of fun.

I also decided to volunteer in a kindergarten classroom this year because I realized that I miss working with young children. I love their spontaneity and excitement. That experience also provides subject matter for the grandma blog.

Tammy: What’s the best part of freelance proofreading? What do you like most about it?

Cassie: I love finding the mistakes. I know that sounds odd but it’s true. I found the mistakes in student papers when I was teaching college English. Proofreading also gives me a chance to read a lot. I am fascinated at what the authors know that I don’t know. I love learning this way. Proofreading also makes me use my brain and use the skills I learned in college.

Tammy: What is your favorite activity that you do with your grandchildren?

Cassie: I love cooking with my grandson. Now that it’s fall, he and I are talking about making apple pies or pumpkin empanadas. He loves to bake. Making sugar cookies and decorating them is one of his favorite activities. I also love to read to him. Yesterday, he brought the book Verdi home from school. We had been reading that book since he was little. It was a thrill for me when he asked me to read it. He seldom asks me to read a specific book.

Sometimes we get lost in our day-to-day activities. It’s fun to just take some time and let the kids be kids and do what they want to do. My grandson and I have decided that he can play on the playground after school until the weather changes. This way he will have a chance to get the wiggles out and exert a little energy. We can’t do that on roller hockey game days, but we can on those days when our schedule is open.

Tammy: Do you have any hobbies, and what are they?

Cassie: I have two hobbies that I can’t live without. I love textiles and I’m very much a textile junkie. I crochet and I also quilt. I have been crocheting and knitting since I was about ten years old. I started quilting when my daughters were little. I do more crocheting than I do quilting. Last year I made twenty-four baby blankets, hats, and booties for the Southern Colorado chapter of the Ronald McDonald House. I have also made a lot of blankets for family members. Patrick loves the feel of yarn and material. I guess he gets that from me.

I love to go to quilt shows and look at the textile art on display. I find beauty in both crocheting and quilting. They act as a release for me.

Tammy: What made you decide to work from home?

Cassie: I decided to work from home because I need to feel important. I am very much a product of the sixties. I need to feel like I am contributing something. I also like to keep busy and keep my hands busy. Working from home is a great fit for me. I don’t have to spend a lot of money on clothes, I don’t need a car, and I can spend time with my husband and grandson.

You can find Cassie at www.morningstarediting.com, www.twitter.com/cassiemon, www.linkedin.com/in/cassiearmstrong, and www.morningstarediting.blogspot.com.

Two of her blog posts that are my favorites are Armpit Farts, Whistling, and Dancing Shoelaces and her latest,
Taking Time to Volunteer

Be sure and read her posts and also stop by her sites above.

Thank you Cassie! 🙂

Taking Time to Volunteer

Volunteering is in my blood. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or something my parents instilled in me growing up. I only know that I have volunteered in one way or another from candy striping at a hospital when I was a teenager to making preemie layettes as a grandma.

I have been thinking a lot about taking my volunteering to the classroom. I volunteered when my kids were in school, so volunteering in the classroom is nothing new. I have noticed that teachers don’t get as much help in the classroom as they did when my daughters were in school. I figured I could easily volunteer two hours a week. After all, I waste more than that on spinning my wheels. I just needed to find someone who needed my help.

I thought about volunteering in Patrick’s first grade classroom but I learned from substitute teaching in my daughters’ classes that working in the same classroom as your child has some major drawbacks. Quite often, it is best if you work or volunteer in another class. With that in mind, I approached my grandson’s ex-kindergarten teacher. She was surprised that I offered to volunteer for her. She mentioned that Patrick wasn’t in her class this year. I smiled and said, “I know.”

I told her that she did such a great job with Patrick in kindergarten that volunteering for her this year was my way of giving back. She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t need to say anything.

I have been volunteering for three weeks now. I love it! I get to work with the kids in-group activities and help the teacher and her aide. I’ve made signs, put projects in cubbies, made copies, and played games. I also get to watch and learn as the teacher teaches.

So far, I have learned that the tools the schools have today have improved from what they had when my daughters were young. I have also learned that the kids are more sophisticated now than they were in kindergarten a long time ago. They know more. With that said, the kids are still kids. Some are more social than others are. That’s a given.

I look forward to my few hours in a kindergarten classroom. Probably the best gift is the smiles and waves the kids give me as I walk past them on the way to collect my grandson at the end of the school day. I also like their recognition when I walk into the class on my volunteer day. I wouldn’t miss their smiles for the world. This is going to be a great year!

Cassie Armstrong

Chunky Monkey

No, I’m not talking about the cartoon! 😉

I’m talking about the handsome little guy below in the photos that is my grandson.
🙂 He inherited the nickname from his Mommy. He weighs a whopping 14 pounds now and he’s always hungry! lol

Grandma thought of these discoveries while dyeing her hair Thursday morning. LOL!

What I’ve discovered about being Grandma within my first 2 days of caring for Chunky MonkeyDETAILS BELOW:

#1 When your grandchild is hungry, they mean RIGHT NOW–Not after going to the restroom or checking your phone for messages, or feeding the cat…they mean NOW Grandma! No dilly-dallying around!

#2 Grandma needs to master the art of using ONLY 2 wipes when changing a poopy loaded diaper…and that’s when it’s oozing out the sides, back, and front. She has a long way to go! But, starting to get the hang of it. 😉

#3 While warming up breast milk or preparing formula, (especially with the required nipple way over on the coffee table and with Chunky Monkey in one arm), for goodness sake, put the bottle down BEFORE lying baby on the couch to place the nipple on top of the bottle! Can you guess what happened to this NEW grandmother? lol Think about that one for a second. 😉 What a disaster!
🙁

#4 Grandma’s discovered just how wonderful this (not so new) invention of the baby boppy is. She’s wondering why it wasn’t discovered when her son was a baby? This invention is a life saver…shear genius! 🙂

#5 Grandma’s discovered that Mommy does a much better and faster job at putting Chunky Monkey’s arms and legs into clothing! lol

#6 Grandma HAS to get a video camera this weekend! Editing…did not happen this weekend, but WILL get one next weekend for sure! 😀

ENJOY THE PHOTOS 😉He’s growing so fast!

The bib says, “Grandma Never Says No!” lol

Labor Day At Our House

Two Of My Favorite Men Sacked Out In Our Living Room – Just Yesterday! 😉

I admit the first 2 days with Chunky Monkey were rough on me, (as my son puts it), “Did my son whip your butt?” YES, he did! But Friday was a very good day for both Grandma and baby. It’s getting easier and I’m finding ways to pacify and entertain him. And he LOVES to be entertained!

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be caring for my sweet grandbaby at my house. I can’t wait till he gets here in the morning. 🙂

It’s a whole new world for me and I’m enjoying every minute I have with him. I’ll be able to see all his firsts! 😀

Remembering Mom in the New Year

This post was written by Melinda Blau for Mother U, a blog for, and about, today’s grandmothers and mothers.

L’shana tova–Happy New Year. Even if you’re not Jewish, fall is a reminder of the cycles of life and of milestones. Each new school year is, in fact, a “new” year. You look at your children and grandchildren with fresh eyes as they trot off to school. There’s no denying the passage of time.

For those of us whose mothers are no longer with us, the fall can bring sadness as well. In the last 37 years, I can’t count the times have I said to myself, I wish my mother were here to see…Jen walk down the aisle, Jen becoming a mother, my eldest grandson reading, his little brother going off to kindergarten, and the littlest one lurching across the floor like Frankenstein as he takes his first tentative steps and falls into my arms. I want to believe that she still “sees” us, but my heart aches nonetheless. Earlier today, as I sprinkled salt, garlic, onion power, pepper, and paprika on a five-pound slab of raw meat–brisket, vot den?–my mother was with me.

That’s the theme of our newest offering on The Buzz,, a sweet piece by Esther Mizrachi Moritz, Keeping My Mother’s Spirit Alive that begins…

Directly after my mother’s funeral in February of 2009, a crowd of people filled my parents’ tiny Brooklyn living room. I made a beeline for the freezer. Heart pounding, I opened it, hoping to find some sambusak. I was obsessed with the idea of bringing home my mother’s Middle-Eastern delicacies to my children, Alexis and Jesse, then 13 and 16.

Moritz shares how she’s learned to sustain memories of her colorful mother, a woman of Latin American and Egyptian descent. We hear often enough that death is part of life, but most of us feel as cheated and alone nonetheless. I was only 29 when my mother died. My daughter was four; my son, only six months at the time, never knew her. Moritz was 48 and her children considerably older. But it’s always “too soon” to lose your mother.

When I hear a woman complain about her mother, I often say “At least you still have one!” So, ladies, whether you’re annoyed about the fact that Mom meddles in your business or that she insists you do things her way or perhaps that you now have to take care of her, take a deep breath. Try to find some moments to cherish and freeze them in your mind. I guarantee, you’ll want them one day.

Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”Brian Tracy

It’s interesting when chatting with successful individuals, among many common traits, gratitude for all of the blessings in their life seems to be universal amongst all of them.Why is it then that most people spend the majority of their time lamenting their current position or lack of success instead of affirming all they’re grateful for in order to open themselves up to receiving more of what they want in order to further advance themselves and their careers.

Let’s face it, we’re not always going to be satisfied with where we find ourselves in life; as Jim Rohn used to say, ‘we can’t control the direction of the wind, but we can control the set of the sail’, and irrespective of whether our lives are filled with success or failure, the first step towards achieving, doing and becoming more is to find and focus on everything we’re grateful for in the present.

Wherever you find yourself today, right now, know that you’re truly blessed, you’re blessed to be in a position where you can better dream of a better life for yourself and your family and can take action towards realising that dream; just realise, what you focus on, expands, so ensure you’re focussing on what you do want and what you are grateful for, not that which you don’t.

Ask yourself today, ‘What am I grateful for in my life, right now?, and once you’ve listed them push yourself further and ask, What could I be grateful for in my life right now? and What should I be grateful for in my life right now?’

Have an Outstanding Day!
Reprinted with permission of Alex Prez & Motivation in your Mailbox E-ZINE, for more information, visit www.motivationinyourmailbox.com

Darlene
http://www.watkinsonline.com/ddemell